Saturday, January 19, 2019

The place of "The Fall" in the redemptive narrative.

Eph 1:3-8  "Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.  (4)  For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him.  (5)  He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  (6)  to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.  (7)  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace  (8)  that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding."

Look at verse four of the above passage. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Simply put, before the foundation of the world is before creation. So then, the verse could easily read, for he choses us in Christ before he ever created anything. Further, verse six says that the purpose was to bring praise to his glorious grace. This has profound implications indeed. It shows beyond possible doubt that redemption was God's purpose in creation.

God knew that humanity could not properly handle the knowledge of good and evil, and he knew that humanity could not praise him without the knowledge of good and evil, and likewise, he knew that given the choice, humanity would chose the knowledge of good and evil. This is precisely why he/God made redemption his first purpose in creation, and it was done with wisdom and understanding.

Further to this point, the knowledge of good and evil is the source of ALL human depravity. Coupled with mortality, the inevitable death that we all face, we have been given the survival instinct to aid in keeping us alive in all forms of danger, both physical and psychological. It is the capability to judge. All judgment comes from the knowledge of good and evil and it is interesting that Jesus said, "judge not lest you be judged." However, with humanity, having the knowledge of good and evil, this is an impossible commandment.

The source of all evil comes from groups of people having power, deciding issues in their favor, and then judging themselves right and others wrong. It is the source of all greed. The knowledge of good and evil, coupled with death causes greed due to self preservation. Think about it. This self preservation is necessary for humanity to survive. This is the situation that humanity needed to be redeemed for and from.

I am writing this post to add understanding to a previous post which follows below. I am repeating it because it will offer additional insight and illumination. It will show that way in which the Holy Spirit using the gospel of grace can help humanity overcome the effects of this necessary fall.

(Joh 1:29)  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

What is the sin of the world? What did John the Baptist mean when he spoke those words? These are interesting questions, and the answers go along way in explaining what the nature of the gospel really is, and why it was such good news. You can find many posts on this blog that show that the writer of Hebrews equated sin and unbelief. In fact, the sin of the world is unbelief, and I will strive to show you why this is so.

The first clue is found in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Old Testament.
Genesis 1:27-31 explains the source of the sin of the world. God decreed that everything that He had created, including male and female was "very good." To protect humanity from not believing this decree He commanded them not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason for this was that once they gained that knowledge they could decide for themselves what was good and what was evil and not believe God's decree. His decree is found in (Gen 1:31)  "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day." Yes, God declared that all creation including humanity was very good, and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil wiped that out. They saw themselves as naked and decided that it was not good. Of course, only God knows what is truly good.

Jesus mission, was to bring the Spirit of God into the world so that humanity could believe that they were in fact good based solely upon God's declaration. Paul wrote; (Rom 5:1)  "Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." It was the faith of Jesus, being willing to die, knowing that God would raise him from the dead, that justified humanity. Isaiah prophesied this way" (Isa 53:11)  "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: and he shall bear their iniquities." What was his knowledge? It was perfect faith in the Father. This came from the Holy Spirit that had landed on him at his baptism. He was certain, even unto death that God would raise him from the dead. The gospel provides the method and means for humanity to gain that Spirit and believe God's declaration/decree. We apprehend this faith by believing the gospel message that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting trespasses, and declaring humanity righteous.

This is precisely the way that the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, purposed to be slain before the foundation of the world, takes away the sin/unbelief of the world. The gospel is merely proof of the good news spoken by God in Genesis 1:31. The ultimate purpose Paul states in Ephesians chapter one is to the praise of God's glorious grace. It is to promote real and lasting love for God that is the only way that the first and greatest commandment can be obeyed. When we understand the gospel by faith through the Holy Spirit, we cannot help but love such a gracious and good God! And, this faith which is from the Holy Spirit can help us overcome greed and love one another.



Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world... What did John the Baptist mean?

(Joh 1:29)  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

What is the sin of the world? What did John the Baptist mean when he spoke those words? These are interesting questions, and the answers go along way in explaining what the nature of the gospel really is, and why it was such good news. You can find many posts on this blog that show that the writer of Hebrews equated sin and unbelief. In fact, the sin of the world is unbelief, and I will strive to show you why this is so.

The first clue is found in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Old Testament.
Genesis 1:27-31 explains the source of the sin of the world. God decreed that everything that He had created, including male and female was "very good." To protect humanity from not believing this decree He commanded them not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The reason for this was that once they gained that knowledge they could decide for themselves what was good and what was evil and not believe God's decree. His decree is found in (Gen 1:31)  "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day." Yes, God declared that all creation including humanity was very good, and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil wiped that out. They saw themselves as naked and decided that it was not good. Of course, only God knows what is truly good.

Jesus mission, was to bring the Spirit of God into the world so that humanity could believe that they were in fact good based solely upon God's declaration. Paul wrote; (Rom 5:1)  "Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." It was the faith of Jesus, being willing to die, knowing that God would raise him from the dead, that justified humanity. Isaiah prophesied this way" (Isa 53:11)  "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: and he shall bear their iniquities." What was his knowledge? It was perfect faith in the Father. This came from the Holy Spirit that had landed on him at his baptism. He was certain, even unto death that God would raise him from the dead. The gospel provides the method and means for humanity to gain that Spirit and believe God's declaration/decree. We apprehend this faith by believing the gospel message that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting trespasses, and declaring humanity righteous.

This is precisely the way that the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, purposed to be slain before the foundation of the world, takes away the sin/unbelief of the world. The gospel is merely proof of the good news spoken by God in Genesis 1:31. The ultimate purpose Paul states in Ephesians chapter one is to the praise of God's glorious grace. It is to promote real and lasting love for God that is the only way that the first and greatest commandment can be obeyed. When we understand the gospel by faith through the Holy Spirit, we cannot help but love such a gracious and good God!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Jimmy Carter is right and many evangelical presuppositions about scripture are WRONG!

I have recently seen criticism of former President Jimmy Carter for his statement in 2015 that he thinks Jesus would approve of gay marriages. This is a theme that is frequently crossing my Facebook page lately. While it is old news it is relevant to the point of what effect presuppositions have on scripture interpretation. It has been the one of the focal thrusts of this blog to show that evangelical presuppositions are completely off the mark in many respects when it comes to scripture interpretation. I think that the resurgence of this story is to try to throw shade on other interpretations of the scripture. It is a last ditch move to resist a spiritual paradigm shift that will not be thwarted because it is a correct and necessary shift.

So, did Jesus see the scripture as a rule book? Absolutely not! He saw it as the story of redemption and a story about Him. John 5:39-40 states that the purpose of the scripture is to point to Jesus so that people can find life in him. I have proven beyond possible doubt in the posts of this blog that the scripture is the story of redemption, and not a rule book, especially for the New Covenant era. So much of the misunderstanding comes from ignoring that there is a natural transition in the scripture with a strong Jew/Gentile distinction. While the Jews saw the Old Testament as a constitutional legal document, Jesus and his first century followers that wrote the New Testament overthrew that notion in favor of it being the good news of the redemption narrative.

In many of the Facebook posts about this, evangelicals smugly quote scripture and verse claiming to show that the former president is wrong. The problem with that is their presupposition that the scripture is a legal constitutional document is completely off the mark, and a total error for New Covenant saints. This being the case, all of the book and verse quotations are off the mark as well when taking a legal constitution approach to the scripture.

I should of course offer my presuppositions' that I arrived at after rigorous scripture study. First, the phrase word of God denotes the gospel, or Jesus the gospel made flesh. Second, that the purpose of scripture was to present to humanity a redemptive narrative that would assure a person that God's purpose in creation was to love humanity and have a relationship with it that results in true adoration of this gracious Creator/God.

Now, since Jesus introduced God as a loving Father, it can be reasoned that God wants what is best for his creation. Therefore, I can conclude with Jimmy Carter that Jesus would approve of a loving monogamous relationship period. The reason is that a loving monogamous relationship is vital in providing the peaceful stability for individuals that need partners. I am not excluding those individuals who are comfortable to be forever single, and do not require intimate relationships for fulfillment. I am not personally aware of such but undoubtedly they exist. That aside, Jesus in my view of scripture would be supportive of all relationships that were mutually loving and monogamous.

If you are a person that has a high view of scripture, do not be alarmed. I do also, however, not presupposing that it is intended to be a legal constitutional document from God to humanity does not in anyway diminish the sovereignty of God, nor the divinity of Jesus as redeemer. If you think it does you are merely incorrect in your assumptions.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Intelligent design and the bible...

Joh 5:39-40 NET  "You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me,  (40)  but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life."

If you were to read all of the posts on this blog, you would indeed find that the preponderance of evidence establishes the fact that the bible/scripture is the redemptive narrative. Further, its main function is the story of redemption. It is not a law book. It is not a manual for correct living. It is not a science book. Rather, it is a love story that explains God's love for humanity and all that He created.

I have never been comfortable believing that all of life on this planet just evolved. Certainly, there is an element of evolution within all living things but not to the degree that all life evolved from one primordial cell. But by the same token, I am not comfortable with the six day creation. I believe it to be a metaphor or an allegory. For this reason, I think that the theory of ID or intelligent design makes a lot of sense to me.

I do not have a scientific mind or a scientific bent. I am intuitive. I think it could be best described as a mystic. I would like to use the definition from the Oxford Dictionary; "a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect."  I think that the second clause in this defining sentence best describes how I see myself as a mystic. I want to focus on the idea of one who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect. This supports my sentiment in the above paragraph.

When one looks up Intelligent Design (ID,) one soon finds that there is a fierce debate going on among those who claim to be ID scientists and Darwinists. It seems that the Darwinists try to lump ID scientists with creationists. They do it to discount the science of ID, but I have read enough to see that the Darwinists are as Shakespeare once wrote, "protesting" a tad too much. ID scientists do not demand that one follow the explanation of the Bible. They merely claim to prove what to me is obvious; that is, that the theory of irreducible complexity flies in the face of the entire biological world evolving from one primordial cell. I don't suggest that I understand it in the least, but I have given enough key words so that you can look it up for yourself. Rather, the mystic in me tells me that it is correct.

Those evangelicals that demand a literal reading of Genesis are completely wrong in my view. This is not a plea for creationism over evolution. I do KNOW however that the bible does not lose its inspirational authority if the first part of Genesis is allegorical. In fact, it does not lose its inspirational authority if the story of Adam and Eve is allegorical. Thinking that it does merely shows a limitation of understanding and provides the ammunition to Darwinists to show that creationism is anti-intellectual.

By the same token, it has never made sense to me that "beings" as complex as those living on this earth, especially humans, but the entire animal kingdom included as well just evolved from cosmic accidents. Rather, for me it shows a highly complex, and very orderly existence that demands a creative force, a designer if you will allow the term. I believe that force is the God of the universe, and that in fact, Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the incarnation of God in human flesh to bring redemption by proving that we are eternal beings, and that there is life and existence beyond this earthly dimension.

When one takes a wooden literal interpretation of all scripture one creates a false image of God's purpose for humanity. Ephesians chapter one establishes that God's purpose in creation, before the foundation of the world, which is before creation, was to bring about the praise of his glorious grace. The gospel explains that God reconciled humanity to himself for this very purpose. I can assure you that to keep the intent of the scripture, as stated by Jesus, recorded in the above scripture passage from John, it is not necessary to view the bible as a science book, or a rule book. It is in fact a book that explains the gospel of Jesus Christ and the reconciliation bought by his life, death, and resurrection.

We will be exploring more about the essence of Jesus earthly ministry and what God had clearly intended when he sent Jesus to earth. It will be liberating and it will eliminate so much of the schizophrenic teaching that is replete in orthodox Christian doctrine. Most especially that of the evangelical variety of Christianity.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The guarantee of the Holy Spirit is our inheritance.

Eph 1:13-14 AMP  "In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. [Joh_7:39; Act_2:33]  (14)  The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God's own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory."

Many times in this blog, I have forcefully and unapologetically proved that believing the gospel is our obedience. It is not easy to do as those who cry "easy believism" would like to have accepted. They are way off the path, and have missed the true message of the gospel. God wants us to believe that he is a loving Father that has redeemed us and wants us to be at peace with Him. In fact, I have stated often that peace with God, based on justification by faith, is the catalyst for transformation, It gives us the transformative power of love. God's love for us, promotes deep and abiding real love for Him. The gospel of grace is the factor that allows us to obey the first and greatest commandment. It is to love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our might, and with our whole being. The truth of the gospel message is the only thing that can bring about real love for God free from fear.

It is the Holy Spirit that allows us to believe the gospel and thereby love God wholeheartedly. This is the reason that the Holy Spirit is the seal, the guarantee, the pledge, the foretaste of our inheritance. The fact is that once one hears the gospel of grace, believes it with the aid of the Holy Spirit, then one has the Holy Spirit as a constant companion eternally. That's right. You cannot lose or alienate the Holy Spirit. While you may grieve it, you cannot lose it. The Holy Spirit is the comforter, the teacher, the advocate, the paraclete.

Look at what Jesus tells his immediate followers about the Holy Spirit. Joh 16:7 NET  "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you." and  Joh 16:13 NET  "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come." Yes, the Holy Spirit is a constant companion. After his baptism, the Holy Spirit was Jesus constant companion as he walked on the earth in the flesh. He always believed the Holy Spirit as it was his link to the mind of the Father and likewise, the Holy Spirit is our link to the mind of Christ. Paul told the Philippians to let the mind of Christ be in them. Of course, the way to accomplish that is to listen to the Holy Spirit.

So then, how can you know that you are listening to the Holy Spirit? The answer is simple, very simple indeed. The Holy Spirit will always speak about the things that promote the fruit of the Spirit. Of course that is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness and self-control. The Holy Spirit will promote these within the individual. The Holy Spirit will not condemn. The Holy Spirit will not scold. The Holy Spirit will not punish. After all the Holy Spirit is also called the comforter.

Once again, I like the way the NET Bible interprets this passage. Joh 16:8-11 NET  "And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment –  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  (10)  concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;  (11)  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned." So many people erroneously say that the Holy Spirit convicted them of this or that. They are absolutely wrong because they have wrongly understood what Jesus was saying. Jesus was speaking of the religious world of Judaism when he used the term world. That will take an entire blog post to prove that but for now, just accept it as I am completely confident that the evangelical definition of the world is completely erroneous.

He is going to prove the religious authorities wrong about their understanding and practice of sin, righteousness and judgment. The author of Hebrews equates sin and unbelief as interchangeable throughout his letter. Sin is unbelief as it was in the garden. Now, the ultimate sin is not believing that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. Likewise, the religious authorities were wrong about righteousness. Humanity was righteous because God had declared them righteous (Gen 1:31.) And they were wrong in their judgment because the ruler of this world, Satan had been judged (Rev 12:10-12.) I suggest that you read that passage in the NET Bible. When God raised Jesus from the dead, Satan was judged at that very moment. He thought that through the first Adam he could bring death and separation between God and humanity, but alas, the LAST ADAM, put him to open shame when he rose victorious over death.

That dear friend is the "truth" that the Holy Spirit will convince us of if we but open our hearts, minds, ears and eyes.









Monday, October 29, 2018

In search of the Kingdom of God; Part 3... righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Rom 14:17 NET  For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

It is important to understand the context of Romans Chapter 14. I think it can best be explained by this passage; Rom 14:4-5  "Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  (5)  One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. Each must be fully convinced in his own mind." Paul is using Romans 14 to explain that religious practice is not a good indicator to judge one another. So when he says in verse 17 that the kingdom of God is NOT food and drink, I think it is safe to assume that he has a broader intent than food and drink. He is speaking of outward religious practices in general. He is not being critical of those who observe or perform outward religious practices. Rather, he is stating that they are not a proper standard for judging and judgment.

What does Paul say the kingdom of God does consist of? It is interesting that he states RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, and JOY in the Holy Spirit. What does that mean exactly? Well, here is a clue. Rom 5:1  Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Yes, imputed righteousness, being declared righteous by the faith of Jesus brings peace with God, and that in turn brings Joy. Those are the foundationally important elements in the kingdom of God. Without them, the kingdom of God will not be established. It is also important to notice the order... righteousness -> peace -> joy. If one is not resting completely in the gospel, and by gospel, I mean the finished work of Jesus Christ, there can be no peace.  We are declared righteousness based on the faith/faithfulness of Jesus. This is the most important thing to remember. God was in Christ, reconciling himself to the world, not counting sin. Further, he made Jesus, the one who did not even know sin to be made sin for humanity so that in turn humanity could be made the righteousness of God in Christ. This alone is the source of the peace. Therefore, the righteousness mentioned in Romans 14:17 is the righteousness of God. There really is no other righteousness.

There can be no real joy when there is constant fear. Religious practice is fear based. So much of current evangelical doctrine is based on being controlled by fear. Fear of not pleasing God; Fear of not really being saved; fear of being out of fellowship, and on and on. As the apostle John wrote, fear has torment, or more correctly, fear is torment. Understanding kingdom righteousness eliminates fear. Kingdom righteousness was bought and paid for by Jesus Christ. It is the righteousness that comes from his perfect faithfulness. He only did what the Father told him to do. He did that by faith and was faithful to the mission that he was sent to complete. He was willing to die... believing the Father... showing that death was not final. He was demonstrating that there is more, that there is eternal life.

He set the example of faithfulness and His Spirit enables us to apprehend this fact via the gospel message. Believing the gospel is the source of kingdom righteousness that leads to peace and ultimately joy.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

In search of the kingdom... Part 2 the who, when, where and how of the kingdom

Luk 17:20-21  "Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed,  (21)  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

There are some important observations to be made about the Pharisees request and Jesus' answer. It is note worthy that Jesus did not say that this time the kingdom is not coming with signs and observation, and that will be at a future time. No, to the Pharisees, those trained in the Law of Moses, those expecting the millennial kingdom, those who at that time were ensconced in a fervor awaiting the Messiah and the messianic kingdom, he did not say that the kingdom would eventually come in a different way that could be easily observed. He rather answered that the kingdom was already in their midst. It was already among them. How so? Well the kingdom was everywhere the King was. Jesus was the King in their midst.

How then is it in our midst nowadays? The answer is simple. It is everywhere the King is. How then is the King among us? It is by the Spirit of Messiah, the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the teacher, the Spirit of God. Jesus offers clarity in this passage. Joh 18:36  Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” This was in answer to a question put forth by Pilate in his inquisition. Pilate asked him straight out if he was King of the Jews. Jesus made it clear to Pilate that the kingdom was not a kingdom with a parcel of land in the physical realm but rather a spiritual kingdom from a different reality/dimension.

Paul was the one who was charged with explaining the kingdom gospel to the Gentiles. This was after the resurrection, and after he had taken the gospel to the Jews first. When many of the Jews rejected the gospel he then was sent to the Gentiles as well. It is to the Gentiles in Galatia that Paul explains the nature of the kingdom and its capital. It is necessary to include a longer passage to get the message across. This is the Jerusalem that Jesus reigns in and is King. Gal 4:21-31  Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not understand the law?  (22)  For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.  (23)  But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise.  (24)  These things may be treated as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar.  (25)  Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  (26)  But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.  (27)  For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children; break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains, because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.”  (28)  But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac.  (29)  But just as at that time the one born by natural descent persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is now.  (30)  But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son” of the free woman.  (31)  Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman. This is a kingdom that is not of the physical world but is present in the world. He even quotes Isaiah 54:1 as a proof text for the reality that the kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.

The above passage speaks of the New Jerusalem, the one that the author of Revelation saw coming down out of the sky. Rev 3:12  The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well. It is obvious that Paul and John are referring to the same spiritual Jerusalem. It only makes sense that God would in fact redeem ALL of humanity. I am not anti-sematic or disparaging the Jews in any way. Jesus himself was a Jew. That fact is that God's kingdom is broader than any had anticipated. It is a spiritual kingdom in which all of humanity has been reconciled. God was in Christ, reconciling the WORLD to himself (2Cor 5.)

We then apprehend the kingdom by having faith in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. The kingdom is now, the New Jerusalem is now! The question becomes, will you believe it? Will you walk in the reality of it?


The place of "The Fall" in the redemptive narrative.

Eph 1:3-8  "Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in ...